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Seattle scales back tax in face of Amazon's revolt, but tensions linger

Seattle scales back tax in face of Amazon's revolt, but tensions linger

The tax also would hit such Seattle-based stalwarts as coffee retailer Starbucks and department store chain Nordstrom, as well as California-based tech giants like Apple, Google and Facebook that have enough of a presence in Seattle that they would be subject to the new levy.

Big Seattle businesses, including Amazon and Starbucks, criticized the tax.

After copious meetings and negotiations, the Seattle City Council on May 14 reached a compromise for an employee-hours tax for affordable housing development and homeless services.

On Friday, the original proposal narrowly passed out of a city council committee by a 5-4 vote, setting the stage for final approval on Monday and possible veto by Durkan.

Seattle will tax large corporations $275 per employee and use the money to fight homelessness after a new bill was voted into law.

Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin doesn't appreciate the efforts of state legislatures in New York, New Jersey, and CT that have established municipality charitable funds that could accept contributions from taxpayers in exchange for tax credits.

Boston, of course, also is considered a strong contender for Amazon's so-called second headquarters, an $8 billion, 50,000-job campus.

Co-pilot 'sucked halfway' out of plane after explosive decompression at 32000ft
Footage recorded by the passengers also showed baggage falling from overhead lockers and oxygen masks popping out. Thankfully, no passengers were hurt during the incident that could have otherwise turned tragic.

Politicians from 50 other U.S. cities wrote an open letter to Seattle council in a show solidarity with the councillors attempt to tackle Amazon's impact on the city.

Councilmember Lorena Gonzalez slammed Amazon, saying "their tone in this message that is clearly hostile toward the city council is not what I expect from a business who continues to tell us that they want to be a partner on these issues".

Underlying all of this is the fact that Seattle really does have a serious problem with homelessness, one that is driving even some long-time residents away from the city.

"We are disappointed by today's City Council decision to introduce a tax on jobs", Amazon Vice President Drew Herdener said in a statement.

"We have community members who are dying", Council Member Teresa Mosqueda said before the 9-0 vote, the Times reports.

Supporters of the head tax, such as members of Sawant's Socialist Alternative group and the Transit Riders Union, asked that the council not backslide on the original $75 million legislation. Seattle says it will get $47 million in new revenue from the tax, according to the Times.

Seattle declared a civil state of emergency over homelessness in late 2015. Remember - Amazon now has more than 45,000 employees in Seattle. This has led to lack of affordable housing for the people especially students who are becoming homeless at an alarming rate and people are spending more than half their income on housing. So unless the state's Attorney General really does start charging companies with felonies for leaving Seattle, this tax is going to slow the growth of jobs in the city. "We will also continue to work towards a regional solution to homelessness because Seattle can not go it alone", Durkan said in a statement.


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